Drunk Driving Defense Laws in Georgia

The penalties for a conviction of driving under the influence (DUI) in Georgia are severe. The penalties increase for each additional DUI within 10 years. A driver can face felony charges after a 4th DUI. Understanding how your state handles drunk driving can help you find a knowledgeable Georgia DUI defense attorney to help resolve your case.

Georgia Drunk Driving Laws

Georgia law prohibits not only driving but also being in physical control of a vehicle with a BAC of .08% or more, while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or if you are found to have any amount of drugs in your system. Under Georgia law, the fact that you are legally entitled to use prescription drugs is not a defense to impaired driving violations. The BAC threshold changes to .04% for commercial drivers and .02% for drivers under 21 years old.

Implied Consent: Yes

Enhanced Penalties: BAC of .15% or more; child endangerment, prior conviction, injury or accident

  • first-time offense is a misdemeanor charge punishable by 10 days to one-year imprisonment, $300 to $1,000 in fines, a one-year license suspension and a $210 restoration of the license fee, and a minimum of 40 hours of community service. On a first offense if the BAC is over .08 or more you must serve at least 24 hours in jail.
  • second offense is also a misdemeanor charge and penalties increase to 90 days to one-year imprisonment, a mandatory imprisonment time to serve of 72 hours, $600 to $1,000 in fines, a three-year license suspension, and a minimum of 30 days community service.
  • third offense is classified as an aggravated misdemeanor, punishable by 120 days to one-year imprisonment, with a mandatory imprisonment time to serve of 15 days, $1,000 to $5,000 in fines, five-year license revocation, and a $410 restoration fee, 30 days of community service minimum, and vehicle forfeiture.

Fourth or more offenses are typically considered felonies, and the penalties increase accordingly, as this is considered a very serious offense. For the first felony conviction, the period of imprisonment is not less than 1 year and 1 day no more than 5 years imprisonment with a mandatory minimum imprisonment to serve of 90 days. For any DUI conviction in Georgia, the court will assign probation and could order alcohol evaluation and treatment or an ignition interlock device (IID)

What is a DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction Course?

The DUI, Alcohol, or Drug Use Risk Reduction Course is an intervention program that is mandated by Georgia law for those who are convicted of DUI, Boating Under the Influence (BUI), and underage operating a motor vehicle while in possession of alcohol. The course includes both an assessment and intervention.

Can I Avoid a Conviction After a DUI Arrest in Georgia?

An arrest does not automatically mean you will be convicted. If your Georgia DUI defense lawyer challenges your arrest, you could avoid having a drunk driving conviction on your record. Your DUI defense attorney can also negotiate to get a reduced sentence to avoid the harshest consequences of a drunk driving conviction.

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